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Colligan tweeted on Thursday the following:
Reading between the lines & based on Ray Shero comments last night, starting to think Tyler Kennedys [sic] time with #Pens reaching critical point
Shero: "With TK, and I know the coaches have talked to him, he's a guy that needs to pick up his play and it's important for him to do so"
Strong words from a general manager who typically keeps a low profile and rarely speaks negatively about a player. I think it’s safe for Tyler Kennedy to consider himself officially on notice.
Kennedy has not been much of a factor on the scoresheet, having recorded only one goal, one assist and converting on a career-low 3.2 percent of shots taken. Kennedy is a valuable forechecker who delivers consistently high-energy shifts and does a nice job of getting pucks deep, but his lack of production is dismaying. Kennedy simply must show up more in the box score.
If Shero makes a move at the deadline, it will be for a top-six winger, and top-six wingers don’t come cheap. Shero will likely have to part with a couple high-value prospects, a draft pick and potentially a current player like Kennedy.
Much of what Shero decides to do depends on how smoothly Beau Bennett transitions to the NHL. If he finds his comfort level and begins producing on one of the top two lines before April 3, Shero may choose to stand pat.
The Penguins are 9-5-0 and currently sit in fourth place in the Eastern Conference. They’re all but a lock for the playoffs and likely will be for years to come. But with the concentration of talent in the Pittsburgh locker room, merely making it to the postseason is not enough.
After two consecutive seasons of the Penguins failing to make it out of the first round of the playoffs, Ray Shero seems determined to make the necessary changes to propel this team to the next level. Will the promotion of Beau Bennett be the spark? Will it take a mammoth trade at the deadline?
We’ll find out.